Decemeber was busy for IFMGA mountain guide Gary Dickson with him working at Mt Cook doing two 5 day private mountaineering courses. These shorter courses are ideal in length for introductory or skills update, and being not too long in the mountains, making for a pleasant amount of time for many people to be in the back country. Both trips were based out of Tasman Saddle hut, at the head of the Tasman Glacier, which was ideal in the quite changeable westerly weather conditions.
Nov/Dec had IFMGA Mountain Guide Gary working as an assessor for the New Zealand Mountain Guides association as an assessor for two four day NZMGA hard ice guide courses. Both these courses where run on the lower Tasman Glacier ice, a first for the associations training and certification scheme ( usually these courses have been held on the west coast glaciers). All eight of the candidates who put themselves forward for this aseessment( the highest award in NZ for Hard ice glacier guiding) ended up passing. Well done to them all.
January had Gary instructing Matt from New Castle Australia the skills required for alpine climbing for NZ and global mountains (Matt having aspirations of international peaks in the future). The course was based at Pioneer hut at the head of the Fox Glacier. A storm in the middle of the 7 day course had very strong winds – the weather forcast was predicting 150 kmph winds at 2000m and 3000m elevations. The team and the hut weathered it well. Fresh snow made for some interesting glacier travel and use of a pre prepared navigation plan was needed for the first part of the journey from Pioneer down to Chancellor hut.
Before driving back to Wanaka, Matt enjoyed using his Alpine climbing skills on the blue ice of the lower Fox ice.
End of the month, two fit fellas will be arriving from Aussie to go on an intermediate-advanced climbing course with mountain guide Gaz. The NZ weather looks to have settled into a more settled state of play and alpine conditions look excellent for the 10 day specialized mountain training.
If you are looking for a climbing course we have two sceduled courses comming up:
- Intro to alpinism – 6 days 20th-25th February
- Total Alpinism – 7 days 04th-10th March
If you are an individual or a group looking to have a week of private mountaineering instruction, just get in touch and we can see if we can fit around your schedule.
Here some memorabilia of Alpinism during the last decade: youtube legendary Doug Ball who spent considerable time climbing with mountain guide Gary Dickson aka Gaz from January 2006 until August 2009.
Doug had climbed Mt Cook Aoraki with his wife Peggy and many other peaks, but never Mt Aspiring. He got thwarted twice while climbing with Gaz because of conditions and weather but third time lucky and for a brief time he was considered the oldest climber to have sumited. He must have been an inspiration … more
He sent us these lines just recently …”I use a slide show of my mountaineering photos as a screen saver so that my memories are not lost but are refreshed every day. Alpinism and Ski certainly made an enormous difference to my life. What would have become of me if I had just thrown in the sponge after Peggy died? I have so much to thank you both for and am not likely to ever forget it.”
keep going strong Doug
Beginning of January and the weather has been outstanding here for at least three weeks, fantastic for all sorts of walks and hiking adventures. Iris has been on her guided trekking excrusions to Rob Roy a couple of times and privately for personal recreation, hiking to Cameron hut and Breast Hill. For more recreation, the Alpinism & Ski team has climbed Sharks Tooth in the Matukituki valley with friends Gordy and Katrin. Also on the program a few sailing excursions on lake Wanaka, perfect alternative to the mountains. Want to join us for some fun? just ask!
“We’ve had a great trip as part of our training for our Patagonia trip. We loved being taken up to the Tasman Glacier and improving our off piste skiing skills and we appreciated the expertise Gary showed in extending our skills slowly but surely. We came away refreshed and more informed and skilled for future ventures. Great food, great fun, great location, great weather.
The hospitality back in Wanaka is exceptional – thanks for feeding us beautiful food and making us so welcome.”
Linda, Kerryn, Rob – here a link to their Patagonia adventure and more
Be it an ascent of one of the beautiful peaks in the Southern Alps or a mountaineering instruction course to learn/refresh alpine climbing skills, Alpinism and Ski offers you our diverse range of mountain guiding services. From short and easy rock climbing on the local Wanaka crags, trekking, hiking and walking around the local hills or to more full on and week long missions on the glaciated terrain, just get in touch to help you organize your next trip.
Yesterday, Riverside next to the Motatapu river near Wanaka provided a fantastic venue for an introduction to the sport of rock climbing for long time client and friend Phil melchiors Grand sons. It was also a lovely spot for a family picnic and ‘refreshing’ plunge in the water.
The New Year is approaching fast and the last few weeks have brought us excellent weather for adventures in the Southern Alps.
We have two mountaineering courses on the program, one for beginners and the other for intermediate to advanced mountaineers keen to brush up, renew and confirm their alpine climbing skills to stay safe in the mountains while having fun, here the details:
- Intro to Alpinism, 6 days from 20 – 25th February 2012, $ 2426 pp
- Total Alpinism, 7 days from 4 – 10th March 2012, $ 2830 pp
One of those mountaineering instruction courses could be just right for you, so don’t hesitate and get in touch for more details.
HAPPY NEW YEAR
The last month of the year and our Sustainability Statement is now available. Also our latest newsletter is out, check it here and you can sign up for the next one by sending us an email. We promise not to spam you as time outside is too precious! Here some photos from a recent walking adventure, up to Breast Hill above Lake Hawea, a great one day walk unless you go from hut to hut…